“Perfectionism is the rejection of now”
–Povel Somov, PH.D.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes it seems like the universe wants you to learn something and won’t give up until you pay attention? Suddenly everywhere you turn there is a story about something, and it’s along the same theme as the story you heard yesterday? And the day before?
That has been happening to me a lot in the last year. I keep running across articles, or stories or interviews, and they all seem to have a common theme. It’s as though someone is trying to tell me something, but I just don’t want to listen. It’s only after I finally connect the dots and the message no longer falls on deaf ears that the universe is satisfied and moves on to the next lesson.
Recently I have been seeing story after story about the pursuit of perfection, and the damage it causes in our lives. Having been a perfectionist for more years than I care to mention, my initial reaction to this is similar to hearing that the world is flat. Cute theory, but everyone knows it’s wrong. Perfection is just that–perfect. And that is what we should all strive for, right?
Well, lately the universe has thrown enough examples in my face to question this very comfortable and paralyzing theory. Many of us look at perfection as the only way that something should be done. The problem with this mindset is that it holds us back. Rather than moving forward, we keep refining. Once the business plan is perfect we can open. Once we have the perfect website we can advertise. Once we have the perfect menu we can have that dinner party. Once we have the right bank account, we can have kids. That line of thinking leaves us without a job, hungry, lonely, and childless. But we have great visions about how it should be.
Thanks to all the signs, I have realized that done is better than perfect. Relaxing into the moment and accepting what is is a much better way to move forward. Just about anything can be revised or edited later. The important thing is to take action. The pursuit of perfection is really just another method of avoiding responsibility. Waiting until something is perfect before taking the next step is a great way to make sure that nothing ever happens.
Give yourself permission to let go of perfection. You’ll be amazed at how much more satisfied you will be. Not to mention productive and relaxed. Accept and explore the possibility that this moment, right now, is just as perfect as it needs to be. Once you do that, and stop searching for an unachievable ideal, you will understand that the pursuit of perfection is highly overrated.
And moving forward in the moment is much more fulfilling than stalling for the future.